(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Morgan raid"

wr 



. IB 



tjrtSJfcJ #** 



■-«*: 






a 



m 









THE MORGAN RAID. 



SPEECH OP 



V 



HON. B. F. POTTS, 



OF CARROLL COUNTY, OHIO, 



DELIVERED IN THE OHIO SENATE, 



nvc^iR/Cia: 19, 1869. 



* / 



COLUMBUS, O.: 

OHIO STATE JOURNAL BOOK AND JOB PRINT. 
l86 9 . 



. a 




E4' 
TV 




I 






',<:■ 



THE MORGAN RAID. 

SPEECH OF HON. B. F. POTTS, 

Delivered in the Ohio Senate, March 19th, 1869. 



House Bill No. 34, by Mr. "Welsh— A Bill to provide 
for the payment of claims for damages, growing out 
of the Military Expedition of John Morgan in the 
State of Ohio, A.D. 1863, being under consideration- 
Mr. POTTS said :— 

Mr. President : In the discussion of this 
bill, I desire to deal fairly with the friends of 
the measure, and to examine carefully and 
impassionately its provisions. The bill is 
one of the greatest importance, as it effects 
directly every tax-payer in the State, and 
should be carefully considered by every Sena- 
tor before he gives it his approval by his vote. 
A raid was made through a portion of our 
State in 1863, by confederate forces under the 
command of John Morgan, which appro- 
priated, destroyed or damaged considerable 
property belonging to the people of Ohio. 
The United States forces and the Ohio Mili- 
tia who pursued Morgan's command, also, 
necessarily, appropriated and damaged some 
property belonging to our citizens. A Com- 
mission was appointed by an act of the Leg- 
islature in 1864, to examine the claims of our 
citizens growing out of the Morgan Kaid — 
and by their report we find that claims for 
damages caused by the rebel forces are re- 
ported at four hundred and thirty thousand 
nine hundred and sixty-nine dollars, damages 
caused by the United States forces one. hun- 
dred and forty-three thousand six hundred 
and eleven dollars, and for damages caused 
by the Ohio Militia six thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty-seven dollars, making the total 
sum of five hundred and eighty thousand 
eight hundred and thirty-seven dollars— 
which amount is to be drawn from the 
pockets of the now over-burdened people of 



Ohio, should this bill become a law. As a 
Senator upon this floor, representing thirty 
million dollars of taxable property, I pro- 
test in the name of the tax-payers of Ohio 
against the passage of this unfair and illegal 
measure. Mr. President, what authority 
have the friends of this bill to claim that the 
State Treasury should be depleted to pay 
these claims? Under what law, human or 
divine, can the Legislature of Ohio do this 
unjust thing? The act creating the Com- 
mission did not legalize these claims but, on 
the contrary, it expressly stated that the act 
should create no claim against the State- 
In the determination of important questions 
we should consult the law and precedents, 
and in this case the laws of war, as accepted 
by the civilized world, should be the guide 
in determining our vote on the bill under 
consideration. These claims result almost 
entirely from the ravages of war, and let me 
call the attention of Senators to the law upon 
this subject. I read from Vattel, on the Law 
of Nations, page 402 : 

"Is the State bound to indemnify indh 
vidualsfor damages they have sustained by 
war? * * * * 

" The damages under consideration are to 
be distinguished into two kinds : Those done 
by the State itself or the sovereign, and 
those done by the enemy. Of the first kind, 
some are done deliberately and by way of 
precaution— as when a field, a house, or a 
garden belonging to a private person, is ta- 
ken for the purpose of erecting on the spot a 
town, rampart or any other piece of fortifica- 
tion, or when his standing corn or his store- 



houses are destroyed to prevent their being of 
use to the enemy. But there are other dam- 
ages caused by inevitable necessity, as, for 
instance, the destruction caused by artillery, 
in retaking a town from the enemy. These 
are mere accidents ; they are misfortunes 
which chance deals to the proprietors on 
whom they happen to fall. The sovereign, 
indeed, ought to show an equitable regard 
for the sufferers, if the situation of his affairs 
will admit of it, but no action lies against 
the State for misfortunes of this nature, for 
losses which she has occasioned, not wilfully, 
but through necessity and by mere accidents, 
in the exertion of her rights. 

" The same may be said of damages caused 
by the enemy. All the subjects are exposed 
to such damages, and woe to him on whom 
they fall. The members of society may well 
encounter such risk of property, since they 
encounter a similar risk of life itself. 

" Were the State strictly to indemnify all 
those whose property is iDJured in this man- 
ner, the public finances would soon be 
exhausted, and every individual in the State 
would be obliged to contribute his share in 
due proportion — a thing utterly impractica- 
ble. Besides, these indemnifications would 
be liable to a thousand abuses, and there 
would be no end of the particulars. It is 
therefore to he presumed that no such thing was 
ever intended by those united to form a society. 
But it is perfectly consonant to the duties of 
the State and sovereign, and, of course, per- 
fectly equitable, and even strictly just, to re- 
lieve, as far as possible, those unhappy suf-. 
ferers who have been ruined by ravages, as 
likewise to take care of a family whose head 
and support lost his life in the service of the 
State." 

Mr. President — I also read from Halleck 
on International Law, page 849, the latest 
work published in this country on that sub- 
ject. He says : "No Government can be sup- 
posed to be able, consistently with the wel- 
fare of the whole community, to assume the 
burden of losses produced by conquest or 
the violent dismemberment of the State." 

From the authorities just quoted, we learn 
that a government may, if the condition of 



its public affairs will admit of it, extend re- 
lief to such of its citizens as have been ruined 
by the ravages of war— persons who have 
been reduced to want. Will any Senator 
claim for a moment that this bill provides for 
the relief of persons who have been utterly 
ruined by the ravages of war ? Certainly not. 
Let Senators examine the list of claimants 
that will receive the five hundred and eighty 
thousand dollars by the passage of this bill, 
and you will find them persons of wealth, 
beyond the reach of want or poverty. The 
gentleman from Guernsey, Mr. Lawrence, 
asserts that there are persons along the line 
of the raid, who were ruined in consequence 
of the same. I say to the honorable Senator 
and the friends of this bill, that when they 
make a case here before the Senate that cer- 
tain persons have been ruined by the Morgan 
Raid, that they have been reduced to want by 
it, I will go as far as any Senator on this 
floor to extend to them ample and sufficient 
relief. Yes, restore to them their property 
or the value thereof. 

Mr. President — In the consideration of this 
bill, we are reminded that very recently this 
country was engaged in a great civil war, 
and during its continuance and since its close 
many questions have arisen for adjudication 
and settlement. The liabilities of the gov- 
ernment for damages caused by the public 
enemy, and for property appropriated or de- 
stroyed by our own army, have been adjudi- 
cated and settled by the highest power in the 
Government. The Committee on Claims of 
the Thirty-ninth Congress, had under consid- 
eration the whole question of compensation 
to citizens for damages resulting from the 
ravages of war, and after a long and patient 
examination of the question, a report was 
made adopting the position of Vattel, on the 
Law of Nations. 

I beg the Senate to bear with me while I 
read the report of the Committee, which is 
found in Vol. 1, page 1, 2 & 3, of the Report 
of Committees of the 39th Congress, Report 
No. 10, January 18th, 1860. Mr. Delano, of 
Ohio, from the Committee on Claims, made 
the following report : 
* * * * "The Committee say 



they are unable to obtain any definite infor- 
mation as to the quantity or value of the pro- 
perty destroyed or appropriated; but it is 
suggested that an attempt to indemnify and 
compensate this numerous class of claimants 
will require an amount of appropriations 
much greater than the revenues of the Na- 
tion at this time can possibly satisfy. It 
seems to the Committee, therefore, that the 
House should determine by its actions, 
whether the claims should be assumed,where- 
by the national debt must be increased to an 
indefinite extent. * * * * . * 

" Appeals to our sympathy, humanity and 
benevolence are not easily resisted, and it is 
a credit to human nature that we are so con- 
stituted as to be accessible to such appeals. 
It is to be remembered, however, that such 
ought not to induce and can not authorize us 
to levy extraordinary taxation upon our con- 
stituents in order to gratify our charitable 
impulses. We are not almoners, merely for 
the Nation, and have no just right to impose 
increased taxation in order to gratify our 
feelings of benevolence, nor to establish prin- 
ciples of abstract justice and equity, when 
there is no rule requiring it, and particularly 
when the attempt is to be attended with 
great uncertainty, and to be subjected to in- 
numerable impositions and frauds. * * * 

" It seems to the Committee that the magni- 
tude of the public debt, created to suppress 
the rebellion, renders it impossible for the 
Government to attempt to compensate all 
those who have sustained individual losses 
by the action of the army in the field. The 
attempt would impair the National credit 
abroad, destroy confidence in the public se- 
curities everywhere, impose such additional 
burdens of taxation as to give cause for dis- 
content and complaint, and thereby lead to 
the possible encouragement of such evil- 
minded persons as may be led to favor the 
policy of repudiation. The Committee are 
therefore of the opinion that, in view of the 
magnitude of these losses, as well as the mag- 
nitude of the public debt, and the thousand 
abuses necessarily resulting from an attempt 
to satisfy these claims* in the words of Vat- 
tel, "the tiling is utterly impracticable" and 



ought not to be encouraged. * * * 

"The Committee call the attention of the 
House to an act of Congress approved July 4. 
1864, entitled an act to restrict the jurisdic- 
tion of the Court of Claims, &c. * * 

" In the light of this act, it seems to have 
been the policy of the authors that the claims 
of loyal citizens, in loyal States, for supplies 
to the army, should be paid ; and that the 
Government should not be held liable for any 
such claim coming from citizens of States in 
rebellion, or liable for any claim coming from 
any portion of the country which resulted 
merely from the ravages of war. * * The 
Committee think that the policy of this act* 
as they understand it, should be strictly ad- 
hered to ; that the necessities of the nation 
demand that we attempt to pay no claim 
growing out of the destruction of or damage 
to property by the necessities of the war, nor 
any claims for property furnished to, or taken 
by military officers, except as the same is now 
provided by the act referred to." 

Mr. President, I desire to invite the atten- 
tion of the Senate to the provisions of the act 
of Congress, referred to by the Committee in 
their report which I have just read. The 
second section of the act provides that claims 
of loyal citizens in States not in rebellion, for 
quartermaster's stores actually furnished to 
the army of the United States, and receipted 
for by the proper officer receiving the same, 
or which may have been taken by such offi- 
cer without giving such receipt, may be sub. 
mitted to the Quartermaster General of the 
United States, accompanied by such proofs as 
said claimant can present of the facts in his 
case ; and it shall be the duty of the Quarter- 
master General to cause such claim to be ex- 
amined, and if convinced thai it is just, and 
of the loyalty of the claimant, and that the 
stores have actually been received or taken 
for the use of and used by said army, then to 
report each case to the Third Auditor of the 
Treasury, with a recommendation for settle- 
ment. 

Section third provides in the same manner 
for the payment of claims for subsistence 
actually furnished the army, as is provided 
for in the second section, for payment of 



6 



quartermaster's stores: Now, Mr. President, 
there can be no doubt but the United States 
will pay our citizens for all property taken 
by our troops while in pursuit of Morgan. 
The act of Congress which I have just read 
authorizes such payment, and I am informed 
by the Adjutant General of Ohio that he has 
collected a large number of claims for our 
citizens from the general Government, under 
the provisions of said act, and many more 
claims of like character are on file, awaiting 
settlement. The claims for property appro- 
priated by the United States forces in pursuit 
of Morgan are legal claims against the United 
States, but not against the State of Ohio. 
Then why assume the payment of them ? Are 
the Morgan Raid claims of so sacred a char- 
acter that the State must assume the pay- 
ment of them. 

Let us examine for a moment some of the 
claims allowed by the Commission and to be 
paid for by the bill under consideration: — 
Two bushels of oats, §2 25 ; apples taken 
from orchard, $30.00 ; 1 Black Hawk pony, 
forty-two years old ; 1 sucking colt; 1 pistol, 
$4; one colt, died; 1 pair boots; 2 woolen 
blankets, &c. 

The soldiers of Ohio have a higher and 
more sacred claim against the Government for 
bounties, back-pay and pensions, and yet the 
friends of this bill would be unwilling to pay 
our soldiers their claims out of the State 
Treasury. I do not claim that the State 
should pay our soldiers their claims out of 
the State Treasury. There is no authority 
for it. The soldier presents his claim against 
the United States before the proper depart- 
ment at Washington, and if his claim is a 
legal one it is allowed and paid. I therefore 
insist that the Morgan Raid claimants shall 
have no partiality shown them over other 
citizens of the State. I do not understand 
the friends of this bill to claim that the United 
States will reimburse the State for money ex. 
pended in paying said claims. The law 
which I have read prevents them from insist- 
ing on such a proposition. 

Mr. President, I do not see, in the condition 
of the finances of the State, how the sum of 
six hundred thousand dollars can be paid 



without seriously endangering the credit of 
the State. I beg the attention of Senators to 
a statement which I have received from Hon. 
J. H. Godman, Auditor of State, a gentleman 
thoroughly acquainted with the finances of 
Ohio: 

Auditor of State's Office, 
Columbus, O., March 16, 1869. 

Ron. B. F. Potts, Ohio Senate : 

Dear Sir : Yours of yesterday, inquiring 
whether an increase of Ave or six hundred 
thousand dollars to the Funded Debt of the 
State will necessitate increased taxation for 
Sinking Fund purposes, is before me. The 
following will be the condition of the Sinking 
Fund for 1869 and 1870, as near as can be 
estimated : 

RECEIPTS. 

1869. Balance in Treasury, Nov. 15, 1868. . .$ 352,433 41 
From the United States 262,000 00 

" Taxes 1,318,720 72 

" Proceeds of School Lands and 

other sources 45,000 00 

1,978,154 13 

1870. " Taxes $1,300,000 00 

' ' O ther sources 50,000 00 

1,350,000 00 

Total receipts far the two years $3,328,154 13 

DISBURSEMENTS. 

1869. Interest on the Funded Debt of the 

State $ 600,000 00 

" on Irreducible Debt 225,000 00 

Due Agricultural College Fund, Nov. 

15, 1868 39,345 00 

" Ohio Life Insurance and Trust 

Company on -judgment 77,000 00 

1870. Interest on Funded Debt 550,000 00 

" Irreducible Debt 225,000 00 

$1,716,345 00 

Total receipts $3,323,154 13 

Payments of interest, &c, as 

above 1,716,345 00 

$1,611,809 13 
Deduct for int. in July, 1871. . . 200,000 00 

Balance applicable to principal. $1,41 1,809 13 
Principal of Funded Debt, due 

Dec. 31, 1870 2,026,170 60 

Deficiency of the Fund. .$ 614.361 47 
The United States owes the State upon 
war claims, some $200,000, a portion of which 
will probably be paid, but how much will be 
paid or when, cannot be told. Whatever 
may be paid by the Government on these 
claims, if paid within two years, will reduce 
this balance of $614,361 47 against the Sink- 
ing Fund. The Sinking Fund is the fund 
chargeable with the payment of the principal 
and interest of the public debt. If no addi- 
tional charges are made upon this fund, the 
existing debts of the State can be paid and 
arranged for, without increasing the present 



levy. In addition to the $ 2,026,170 60 of 
funded debt due, Dec. 31, 1870, there is $400,- 

000 due June 1, 1871, making with the bal- 
ance of $614,361 47, the aggregate of $1,014,- 
361 47. This can be provided for by a 
temporary extension, and be taken up in 
1871 and 1872 ; but if any new bonds are is- 
sued, an additional levy ef taxes will be nec- 
essary to meet the increased principal and 
interest. The loan due in 1875 amounts to 
$1,600,000, and it will take all the income of 
1873, 4 & 5 to meet that, at rates of levy 
equivalent to those now made. You perceive 

1 make no definite estimates beyond 1870. 
This is because the real estate appraisement 
takes place in 1870, and the new valuations 
will come upon the duplicates of 1871, and of 
course the Legislature of 1871, will raise the 
rates of all levies, adapting them to the new 
valuations, which will form the basis of tax- 
ation for that year, and several years there- 
after. Any estimates of receipts therefore, 
after 1870, must now be merely conjectural, 
and can hardly reach the dignity of plausible 
guess work, Respectfully, &c, 

Jas. H. Godman, 
Auditor of State. 

Mr. President, no friend of this bill has ex- 
plained to the Senate how the money required 
to pay these claims is to be obtained. The 
provisions of the Constitution of Ohio limits 
the power of the Legislature to raise revenue 
by taxation. We cannot exceed a certain 
amount annually for all purposes. The ques- 
tion for Senators to determine is, shall we 
pass t>is bill and compel the tax-payers of 
Ohio to pay to these rich claimants the sum 
of six hundred thousand dollars— and there- 
by exclude the unfortunates of the State from 
that proper care and attention which they 
should receive at the hands of the people 
of Ohio. Senators should be reminded that 
the State lost by fire last November the Cen^ 



tral Lunatic Asylum, and a large number of 
its inmates were returned to the cold charity 
of our County Infirmaries. I think no Sena- 
tor will say that said Institution shall not be 
rebuilt at once, and I regret that arrange- 
ments for re-building have been delayed so 
long. A new building for the Institution for 
the Education of the Blind is absolutely need- 
ed. The present building is badly ventilated ; 
there is no safe protection against loss by 
fire, and it is without sufficient capacity to 
meet the wants of this unfortunate class of 
our people. A Home for the Orphans of Ohio 
Soldiers is a question that is pressing upon 
us with irresistible force. How can we 
avoid the responsibility of providing for the 
education and maintenance of the orphans of 
the gallant men who went down in the "smoke 
of battle" and gave their lives that our 
country might live. I know Senators upon 
this floor who will oppose the Soldiers' Or- 
phan Home, and then vote to pay the Morgan 
Raid claims. What justice ! What consis- 
tency ! What patriotism ! I trust for the 
sake of our common humanity that such 
Senators are few. The establishment of a 
Reform School for girls, is demanded at 
the hands of the people's representatives, and 
we should not forget that humanity demands 
that we should at once establish one or more 
asylums for the incurably insane that are to- 
day confined in their filth in the County In- 
firmaries of the State. I know that I speak 
the voice of my constituents when I oppose 
all measures looking to an unnecessary and 
unauthorized expenditure of the public 
moneys. I trust, Mr. President, that the bill 
will not pass. 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 
III II II III 1 1 ii ii. 



013 706 822 9 



* 



/ <s 



m 



<# 



t^f^^ 



"?#«&., 



»i 






g 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 



013 706 822 9 * 




peanulife® 

pH8.5